"they say the owl was a baker's daughter. lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be." (Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5)

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Soundtrack and Scenery

The soundtrack and scenery of motherhood is always in our ears, it's all we can see. It will never cease. This morning, I looked around and saw two growing boys. Baseball bats have replaced pacifiers. Equipment bags have replaced the diaper carry-all. Gatorade bottles have replaced sippy cups. And in that never-ending soundtrack, the click-clack of cleats on pavement have replaced the hum of stroller wheels across the park.

The house smells like Irish Spring body wash instead of baby powder. The washing machine churns with endless varieties of sports uniforms instead of onesies. The pitter-patter of tiny feet on tile replaced by the thump of two wrestling boys. Sports Center replaces Baby Einstein. And time marches on.

It can change. All of it can change, except for one thing. Just this one. May it always be, that after every ball hit, after every pitch thrown, after every out made, after every serve returned, after every ace spiked, after every base stolen, after every "A" earned, after every award achieved, after every good deed done, may my boys always look for me. May their eyes continue to search for me in the crowd, where I will always be, so that we can say, in our silent soundtrack that no one else can hear, and so that we can show through our silent exchange that no one else can see,

"Mama, did you see that?"

"Yes baby, I did. And I am so proud."

Sunday, May 8, 2011


When I look around me, I see nothing but riches. And I hold these truths to be self-evident. There is nothing in the world more gratifying than to love and be loved in return. To bear witness to the love you have nourished as it spins into lightness and comfort, like sugar into a cotton candy stick. To be cared for, and cared about, by people who actively welcome you into their hearts, into their spirits, into their family, and call you mother.

To be adored by the ones who call you mama. To be understood by the people who call you daughter. To be mirrored by the one who calls you sister. To be honored by the lives of the ones you call brother.

And to look into the mirror and see reflected, the deeply satisfying place you call home. The place you share with the mate of your soul, wherever he may be.

And there is nothing -- almost nothing -- in the world that can't be soothed by an afternoon of baseball.

It's self-evident. You just have to look.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


May 2 is a noteworthy day in my life. It is a day that changed my life forever six years ago: one in which new doors opened and old doors closed. It is nothing short of a threshold.

When I reflect on everything that has happened between May 2 then and now, I stammer for words. There were moments early on -- facing truths that pulverized me like waves too strong to stand in, but yet I kept trying. The undertow getting the best of me, dragging me away from the places at which I started. Sometimes pulling me under when I least expected it. The rush of seawater into my lungs that would leave me coughing for years. The sand disappearing under my feet as the tide washed away, leaving me searching for truth, slipping for balance.

There have been moments of guarded silence and moments of raucous hope. These have been years in which love and fear almost tore me apart -- but didn't. There’s been tiny single-mom apartments and a large family home stuffed full of seven loving souls. There’s a big yard, and first day of school pictures, and potty-training, and sweet 16 parties, and karate classes, and soccer games, and pre-school field trips, and new cars. Countless nights on the deck or by the firepit, drinking wine while my husband smoked a cigar. There’s been long talks with my big kids, the purchase of prom dresses, growing a garden, shoveling snow, building fires in the hearth, family dinners, loads of laundry, emotional battles waged, positions defended, victories, losses, stalemates, white flags, and change. Jobs and projects and income and interviews and background checks and new beginnings.

My family divided as our future multiplied.

Until finally, I landed on my yoga mat yesterday and during our final shivasnaa, the instructor read this passage, and I have to believe he was talking directly to me, although he never could have known, but surely he always has. "How long are you going to hold on to past hurts? For how long will you stand cloaked in your self-righteous suffering when you have the strength to let go? All you have to do is open your hands and lay down your most cherished fears.”

And with that. I did.